Smith: “I met with the counselor you talked to right before you left. He said there was some abuse going on in your home. What kind would you say is going on?”
Me: “Physical and emotional. *pause* But I wasn’t home for a year, I don’t know how much information I can really give you… I feel like I won’t really be of much help.. Jace (my next oldest brother) would be able to help you more….”
Smith: “Well, I would like to ask you some questions now, and then depending on what you tell me, I might meet with him as well. Now would you say there’s more physical or emotional abuse in your home?”
Me: “For the older kids, emotional. For the younger kids, physical.”
Smith: “Let’s talk about the emotional abuse. What kinds of things are being said.”
Me: “Well, my parents tell us we’re worthless and insignificant and that we can never do anything right…”
Smith: “What phrases do they use specifically?”
Me: “We’re worthless. We’re insignificant. We can’t do anything right. Oh, and they remind us that they’re our dictators. I hate that the most.”
Smith: “How often does this happen?”
Me: “Every single day without fail.”
Smith: “Who do they say these things to?”
Me: “All of us kids, including the youngest ones.”
Smith: “When was the last time you heard them use one of these phrases?”
Me: “The last day I was home this summer.”
Officer Smith seemed surprised… Partially because he’s close to both of my parents. Partially because I talk like it’s normal for parents to talk to their kids this way. I wasn’t aware that it was abnormal until I started seeing how my friends’ parents treated them.
I didn’t include that my parents have said worse to me… I felt like he just wanted the usual phrases that they used on a daily basis, and he seemed satisfied enough with my answers.